Residents of Epworth and Eastview, among other informal settlements, should not expect to get title deeds anytime soon after a Cabinet minister said the regularisation of such settlements takes time.
In February, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to issue 80 000 title deeds ahead of the March by-elections, a development that critics said was a campaign gimmick.
Last week, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said that the issuance of title deeds is not an event but a process. He said:
People are misunderstanding the issuance of title deeds as an event. It’s not an event, it’s a process.
In the context of Zimbabwe, the issuance of title deeds is two-fold: The first one is an area such as this one where the settlement has been properly planned, roads constructed, water, sewer and everything.
The other one is that we are now looking at informal settlements like Epworth, Caledonia (Eastview) in Goromonzi. This land was invaded by land barons.
It was not transferred from the Lands ministry to the Local Government ministry. That process is now taking place.
You can’t just come and give a person a paper without a description of the property.
So, the process gives rise to the creation of the proper description which appears on the title deed.
The regularisation process is part of the title deeds issuance process.
Kushinga Epworth Residents Trust co-ordinator John Mabwe told NewsDay that the regularisation exercise was mired in corruption.
Epworth Residents Development Association secretary Peter Nyapetwa said the ruling ZANU PF party was using the issues of title deeds to gain political mileage ahead of the 2023 general elections. | NewsDay